Where have all of our heroes gone…?

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When we lose our heroes, whether the mythic ones or those who we have revered in our daily lives, we lose a part of ourselves.

“Ultimately, a hero is a man who would argue with the gods, and so awakens devils to contest his vision.”

NORMAN MAILER

Lance Armstrong. The story of a hero turned into a horror story.  He decimated the respect and awe people had for him in both the world of sports and cycling. Now a fallen star, his demise mirrors so many who will stop at nothing to be in the limelight, selling their souls to the devil of cheating, lies and illegitimacy.  Reports of bullying teammates into illegal drug use, pushing them to do it his way or hit the highway, exemplifies the powerful manipulation that allowed the secret to corrupt and erode the field of cycling.  Fearful and excited by their leader, others rode next to their hero so they too could sell themselves to their own devils.

A song keeps running through my head, “Where have all the flowers gone…” and I ask “Where have all of our heroes gone…?”

The first hero of the newborn’s story is the archetypal parent. The innocent eyes that look to the parents who raise them beg the parent to teach them how. When we lose our heroes, whether the mythic ones or those who we have revered in our daily lives, we lose a part of ourselves. Bit by bit, wondering when the anxiety and grief of the loss will take over, we determine that the only way to keep the hero alive is to find the magic of the hero in ourselves.

Often in our culture, the parent, the school and the activities the kids are involved with, are fraught with the need to keep everything positive, never allowing the kids to experience failure. Never allowing the kids to experience silence. Adjusting the language around the children so that everything has a positive bent, yet, what it creates is a false sense of the heroic. Fear of failure abounds. Taking risks is reduced to staying with what is known.  The unknown, the door yet to be opened, remains locked, not allowing for the mistake, the error that leads to disappointment and anxiety.

You know anxiety is not all bad. It causes us to push ourselves beyond limits set by ourselves and by those who would prefer to keep us exactly where we are.

Be your own HERO! Take a risk. Fail. The failure is really your success.

-What risk are you willing to take today?

-What are you willing to do differently that may cause some anxiety while pushing you to be the best you can be?

Lance Armstrong was not strong. He took the easy way out. He made a deal that will effect him the rest of his life.

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